Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Henry: One Month

Yea, we did it! Henry is one month old! This is a bit late (Really he is 5.5 weeks old), but we were in CT all last week and (new) mommy forgot his one month sticker!!! Here are a few highlights for this little baby we love and adore:

  • Henry went from 5lbs 16oz when we left the hospital to 8lbs 4oz! (Tonight we get an updated weight!)
  • He just moved from newborn size to his vast collection of 0-3 months clothes!
  • Mommy and daddy are TRYING to cope with the ever changing sleep patterns; 2 hours between feeds, then 3 1/2 hours between feeds....then back to 2 hours?! We'll even out eventually (*I HOPE)!
  • Henry has been to Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn...all in one day! 
  • He met ALL 13 of his cousins last week!
  • Puppy brother Lambeau is slowly accepting him as part of the family...no licking yet, but he certainly checks on him and naps nearby.
  • He is finally getting used to baths....he was NOT a fan at first.
  • We read to him a lot...he often looks at the books with interest...unless he is falling asleep. Current favorites are Goodnight Moon, Little Lion (From the Central Park Zoo), and a pattern book with no words. 
  • I have finally been cleared to walk with him, and Henry has become more and more comfortable in his BOB stroller. 
  • He loves his Rock and Play. Plain and simple, that thing is a Godsend (Yes mom and Kate, you told me so). 
  • Henry is a great baby; he doesn't often cry unless something is wrong that we can fix.
We love this little guy so much. Despite all the tough stuff (recovery, sleep deprivation, etc), he is 100% worth it! 

Happy One Month Little Lion Man!

He was really excited about being a month old!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Embracing Seasons of Rest

We all go through different seasons in fitness life. Sometimes, we're in marathon training season. At other times, we are in maintenance season. Right now? I'm in the *REST* season. This was an easy season to be in at first, when I was extremely sore and could not think of doing anything beyond feeding my newborn and drinking water. But now? Now I'm under the delusion that I'm ten times better! Yea! Let's get crazy and walk all the miles! No. That's the next season. This season?  I like to call it the "Rest, Relax and Enjoy" season. Here is what has been helping me embrace this season of (forced) rest:

 How I feel


Take things slowly. I am finally able to leave my castle. Castle, you ask? That would be my nickname for my third floor walk up apartment. Once my doctor gave me the okay to "casually take the stairs" and to carry Henry up and down the stairs, we broke out the BOB stroller. I love this thing and can't wait to log some serious miles in it, but for now we will be taking short walks to enjoy our neighborhood.

We taught Lambeau Puppy to go into the "basket", he LOVES it!

Do something special that you enjoy. Brian's mom was visiting, so we took the opportunity to go on a quick date to one of our favorite restaurants. It was such a mood booster to break out of the monotony of three weeks of feeding, burping and napping! I also left Mr. Miller with the boys for some guy time while I met a girlfriend for a pedicure. Having pretty toes is like drinking ice cold water on a hot and humid day! All these little outings made me feel a bit more like myself again. 

Pictured: the most delicious salad and drinks!

Said delicious drink, I went with cucumber!

I got Borrowed and Blue on my toes! Love it!

Relax, this season won't last forever. I have to be reminded of this daily. Passing by mirrors, seeing runners enjoying the PRISTINE NYC weather, all make me anxious to get back at it. I have to choose to relax. I have to choose to focus on recovering, even when I'm feeling great, because there are good days and bad days still. The body is funny like that; it can trick you into a false sense of complete wellness. So for now, I'm enjoying this little guy and our easy walks, snuggles, and sitting on the balcony on cool summer nights.
Henry has a hard time relaxing after bath time...his straight jacket, AKA sleep sack, is a great resource!

How about you? What are your survival tips while in a period of forced rest? Have you been sidelined recently? Any fun summer plans? Tell me about it!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Post: Balancing Fitness and Motherhood

Please enjoy a great guest post from Meghan! She is a fantastic blogger in Chicago, a new mom and teacher! Check out her blog, her adorable little girl, and follow her journey toward running her first marathon in Chicago!!!

Hi everyone!  I'm Meghan from The Perfect Compilation Tape.  While Kristin is off snuggling her adorable little man, she asked if I would share some thoughts with you about my new role as a "running mama".  I thought it was a fantastic idea, and I am happy to share my experiences as a new mom and runner.

A little backstory:  I don't remember when/how I started reading "Mrs. Miller's Miles", but I remember thinking how much Kristin and I had in common.  We are both teachers, we both run, and she happens to live in a city I am obsessed with!  And luckily, because I visit NYC so often, we were able to meet up a few summers back!


Anywho, I am currently a new mama to my adorable 7 month old, Layla.  And as a working mama who loves to run, it has definitely taken me a few months to find my footing (pun intended) when it comes to balancing running and motherhood.  A few things I've learned?

It was my slowest half ever - but I did it! And, I had the best support team in Mike & Layla:) 
(Layla and I, post half-marathon.  I ran my first half when Layla was 6 months old.)

 * Make it convenient.  Since I work full-time, and I knew that I wanted to train for a half-marathon (after getting the "all clear" from my doctor), I figured my workouts would have to be convenient - at home, while the baby was napping.  I did most of my running outside, in my neighborhood - this way, I was close to home.  However, when I found out that a co-worker was looking to get rid of a gently used treadmill for a very reasonable price, I jumped at the chance!  Now, it's SO nice to be able to just head down the basement to squeeze in my runs.

* Be flexible.  Babies are the most unpredictable little creatures in the world.  Early on, when we were still trying to figure out Layla's sleep patterns, I tried to fit in my running when I could.  If I woke up in the morning and she was still sleeping, I ran.  If I returned from work and she was still napping, I ran.  I basically fit my workouts in around her schedule.  I didn't want to miss out on opportunities to spend time with her while she is awake.

* Bring baby along!  On the weekends, I love to take Layla out in the BOB (I have the Revolution model) for runs - and now that she's older, she loves it too!  Personally, I cannot stand more than 4 miles pushing a stroller, so figure out what works best for you.

* Get plenty of support:)  As a new mom who also breast feeds, I had to make sure I had proper support, which was never a problem before.  So, invest in some nice sports bras.  I have recently become a fan of Moving Comfort myself.

* Share your training schedule with your spouse.  Mike and I decided that Sundays were the best days for my long runs - he doesn't have to work, and while I am out for my run, he takes Layla out to breakfast.   It's what works for us, and I am lucky he is so supportive of helping me reach my goals.

Anyway, I hope some of those tips help!  Regardless of how often I get to run, how fast, how long - I am just really proud of the fact that I am doing this for not only myself, but my daughter as well.  Thanks for reading!

Thank you, Meghan, for these amazing tips!!! I'm so glad we found each others blogs!!!

How about you? Do you have any tips for first time moms? What is your comeback go to motivation? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Maternity Photos

Better late than never, right?! A college friend and AMAZING photographer was visiting NYC the week Henry was born, and offered to take some maternity photos in Central Park. We took the photos on Tuesday, and Henry was born on Friday! although it was the HOTTEST and most humid day of the week, Nick captured us beautifully. If you are looking for a photographer in the Rochester/Buffalo area, Nick Dantonio is INCREDIBLE. He also travels to NYC, so I'll update if he will be in the area in the future!

Thank you, Nick, for these beautiful photos. We loved every single one of them!

How about you? Did you take maternity photos? Any secrets for hot weather photos? How is running in the humidity lately? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I get by with a little help from my friends!

Hello readers! Thank you all for your kind words and well wishes on Henry's birth story. Of course it was an emotional experience writing it, but I'm glad I did. We've begun our first week home alone, as Mr. Miller has returned to work. Can I tell you how wonderful our friends are?! We have literally not cooked. Mr. Miller made me breakfast everyday (Because he's amazing and wanted to give me all the yummy food), but other than that, our friends have provided us with meal upon meal upon meal! I can't begin to say how grateful I am for their love and support. Henry is truly blessed to have them in his life! And now, obligatory photos of the cutest baby in the world:

 I've got my eye on you! His blue eyes are slowly lightening.

 We are big USA soccer fans over here. He watched it with daddy while mommy conked out on the couch. Whoops!

He is a lanky long skinny mini! I think my prayers will be answered that he will get Mr. Miller's height (I'm 5'2" he's 6'2"!)

I will also be having some fantastic guest posts. Since this is *technically* a blog about running, I figured some valuable content should still be present! There will be some great guest posts coming up so stay tuned!

Here are some of my favorite products! Although they are not "friends" as the post title implies, I can't speak enough about these products! As many of you know, I became a Rodan and Fields Independent Consultant back in April. This company is PHENOMENAL and their products WORK. If you are interested in loving the skin you're in, getting something special for a new mom, or joining a company that empowers women (and men!), please let me know! To learn more about the products, follow this link .

 These products have helped me feel human again, "pampered" even! It may be small, but taking care of myself with these items make me feel human.

How about you? Have you been on the receiving end of some help lately? What's your go to pampering item? Have you tried an exfoliating product lately? Tell me about it!!! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Henry's Birth Story

Spoiler alert: I had the baby! Henry Joseph Miller joined our family on Friday, June 6, 2014 at 11:19PM weighing 6lbs 5oz and measuring 20 inches long.

The journey to his birth was slightly unexpected. Henry was due June 16, and while it's not unusual for a baby to be born ten days early, it became a necessity for our little guy to arrive early. Here is the story.

Thursday night: I started experiencing signs of early labor. This caused a minor panic attack in me, but excitement that things were moving along. However, these signs could mean labor could still be days away. We went about our business, had a delicious cheeseburger dinner, and I went through bouts of crying and examining every little change or feeling I had. I started feeling very uncomfortable, and the fear of labor was slowly creeping back. I ended up feeling sick all night with stomach issues, barely sleeping.

Friday morning: I told Mr. Miller things didn't feel right. Part of me thought it was because of my disruptive night of sleep, and part of me thought it was because my body was getting ready a bit quicker than I thought. I ended up napping for two hours that morning and counting down the minutes to my (scheduled) 3:30 doctor's appointment. I thought surely he will tell me I've made significant progress etc. As the day wore on, I felt worse. I could only lay on my side, I was having inconsistent Braxton Hicks contractions, but I felt OFF.

Friday afternoon: We went to the doctor appointment together. Mr. Miller was nervous based on my descriptions of how I was feeling, so I he ran around work tying up loose ends and met me at the appointment. My doctor immediately noticed I didn't look like myself. I told him my symptoms, he checked me out, and my progress wasn't advanced like I had hoped. The reason I was upset was because I was uncomfortable; he hadn't dropped, so the top of my stomach was extremely tight, but I was getting extreme pressure like he had dropped. My doctor silently made some notes. Then I said the magic words that no doctor wants to hear "I don't think I have felt the baby move today." I didn't even realize it was true until I said it out loud. He had run out of space, so he only moved when I was sitting upright, and since it was so uncomfortable to do that I hadn't felt him as I laid on my side. That was the last straw. My doctor recommended we go to the hospital for monitoring and fluids since I had not been well the night before.

Friday evening: going to the hospital in rush hour. Our hospital is 35 minutes away without traffic, and my fear all along had been going on a Friday in rush hour. Well, my fear came true! Thankfully it was only an hour of being super uncomfortable in the car. Since I was going to get fluids and be monitored, I ate a sandwich on the way and a donut because, well, it was national donut day! When we got there we got hooked up in their labor and delivery ward for monitoring. This is where things went south. At first they had a hard time hooking me up to the monitor to hear his heartbeat. Finally all was well and I lay uncomfortably as the machines recorded all the stats. About ten minutes in I shifted my weight because of my discomfort, and Henry's heart decelled (baby's heart rate slowed and signaled machines). I attributed it to my movement and the machine not being in the right place. When the nurse came in to find the heart rate again, it took a minute, but all was well again. At this point they told me it was most likely that I would stay overnight for monitoring. After another twenty minutes I really needed to use the bathroom. They helped me go quickly and return to be hooked back up. This is when things got real. They couldn't find the heart beat, and started twisting me around, throwing oxygen on me, and seriously ignoring me in order to simply find a heart beat. After the longest three minutes of my life, they found it. The nurse practitioner came in to tell me that my doctor was on his way, and I was most likely going to be induced after a bit more monitoring. Cue panic. I knew what that meant and it wasn't going to be fun. After more tears, and another hour, I begged to use the bathroom one last time. I went quickly (They hadn't taken my water rights yet!) and again the heart rate issue ensued, and it took a team of people to get me positioned just right. At this point I knew what was coming. Everyone left, I cried and held on to my husband's hand. He is truly a saint and the strongest person I know. A few minutes later the NP came in again and I started sobbing because I knew what she was going to tell me: I needed a C-Section. Henry was not safe and needed to come out ASAP. My doctor would arrive shortly and we would have him soon. I have never been so scared in my life. My birth plan was simple: I wanted to birth a healthy baby no matter the method. After the initial shock wore off I calmed down and focused on my birth plan, my amazing husband, said prayers together for me and for the baby.

If you ever wondered who the most amazing person in the world is, it's this guy.

Having our baby: the best moments in life are unplanned. My doctor arrived and things started moving. He was so caring, but was serious about the need to get Henry out. We went through the steps, I separated from Mr. Miller (The worst part), and began the process of pre-op. It was a scary moment, and I can't thank the nurses enough for being the special kind of people who will hold your hand, and encourage you when your support system is waiting outside (And the largest needle in life is going into your back). Once the surgery was underway, I got the shakes that never ended. I was freezing and praying and focused on the fact that my little son would be with us soon. The procedure was uncomfortable, and because I am always queasy about medical stuff, it made my coping worse. Finally he came out to meet us. I can't explain how surreal it was to know he was coming out, to hear his cry, and to hear my doctor say he was healthy and beautiful. Mr. Miller waited to meet him with me, and it is a moment that will stay with me as long as I live.

 My worlds collide.

My very first kiss with my little lion man.

In the end, my doctor was absolutely accurate in sending me to the hospital. The cord was wrapped around Henry's neck twice, preventing him from dropping. He had meconium because of his distress, and his head wasn't positioned correctly due to the cord, creating immense discomfort in me. I went into this "birthing process" proudly stating that I would do whatever it took to have my baby safely, and though it was hard to rapidly have conditions change, I would not change a thing. I'm grateful for my doctor who was ready to listen to me, a first time mom, and believe me when I said things didn't feel right. I'm thankful for my husband who is my rock. I'm thankful for my family and friends who rallied around us, prayed for us and cheered with us in the wee hours of the morning (You'd be surprised who responds to 2am texts!!!).

Welcome to the world Henry. We've been waiting for you.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The plan: Introducing our dog to the baby

I am already a puppy mom. As I quickly approach being a human mom (T minus 11 days until due date, but who is counting?!), there has been a lot of thought about how our pup will adapt to the baby. Although Lambeau looks sweet and innocent, he has his quirks. Here are some of them:

- Lambeau loves to play. We could go for a long walk or a 3 mile hike, and when we get home he will go get his toy and (loudly) bark at us to throw it. He usually passes out shortly thereafter, but he is like the cranky kid who doesn't want to take the nap despite being over tired and stimulated. We've been working on our commands like "get your toy" and "come" and "no bark" when playing. The last thing I want is for him to bark, since it's pretty loud, and scare the baby. It's been a work in progress.

Lambeau on said 3 mile hike. Four weeks pregnant here. Memories....

- Lambeau loves to snuggle and be CLOSE. He is always sitting on or by our legs, or behind us on the couch. This could get awkward when feeding etc.

I would pay serious money to know what he's thinking here...

Lambeau loves treats. He will do every trick he knows to get one treat. This quirk will be used to our advantage.

We give him Nutro treats: all natural, low calorie and they don't smell like nasty meat!

The introduction plan. I read several articles, and these two were the most helpful: The ASPCA and Cesar Milan's guides to introducing the dog to the baby. Between the two articles, these steps seem right for us:

- Send Mr. Miller in with the baby's blanket before we come home. He will probably do this a day before we come home.

- Make sure Lambeau is walked before meeting the baby. By being walked and settling in back home, he (hopefully) won't be overly excited when I come in with Henry.

- Talk softly and calmly to him when I enter. As the articles said, he will (amazingly) already know the scent, so the baby simply entering the home will trigger the familiarity.
- Mr. Miller will be in charge of handling Lambeau when I sit down on the couch with the baby. I'm not sure a leash is needed, but showing Lambeau that he has to wait will hopefully create boundaries. 

- Mr. Miller will allow Lambeau to come on the couch to investigate the baby. We will affirm him with treats and soft tones. Lambeau has a serious love affair with Mr. Miller and listens to him so much better, so he is in charge of allowing him to do things.

- Lambeau will receive a new toy to distract him while we settle in. I looked at food puzzle suggestions in this article, and decided that the Omega Paw Treat Ball will work best for him. I don't want to give him peanut butter multiple times a day, because skinny pup will become porky pup! This treat ball allows me to put in dry treats mixed with kibble and will stimulate him while I'm feeding, bath time, etc.

I will let you know how it goes! This may seem like a very detailed plan (In fact, I felt like I was writing a lesson plan!), but Lambeau is very important to us. He brings us tons of joy and companionship, and we want to make sure the transition is smooth. 
Circa 2012

How about you? Have you ever introduced an animal to a new human (Whether baby or adult)? Any other pieces of advice? Any ideas of what NOT to do? Tell me about it!